CHEERS (Children’s Environmental Exposure Research Study)

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The widespread use of toxic pesticides in homes is a serious threat to our children’s health. Many commonly used products contain ingredients that can affect the nervous system, cause birth defects, increase asthma rates and are suspected to cause cancer.

CHEERS (Children’s Environmental Exposure Research Study) is a study commissioned by the EPA to assess potential dangers coming to exposure to pesticides. The study solicited participants from 6 health clinics and 3 hospitals in Jacksonville, Florida.

Contents

Pesticide Manufacturers on the Advisory board

The study has received $2 million in funding from the American Chemistry Council, which represents 135 companies, including pesticide manufactures, leading one to question the motives of the study.

Endangering children subject to study

The study pays participants in Duval County, Florida, up to $970 and offers them a free camcorder, free VCR, as well as t-shirts, calendars, bibs, and a framed Certificate of Appreciation. Participants are asked to “maintain” their normal pesticide applications throughout their home for two years. The EPA will monitor developmental changes in babies, from birth to 3 years, who are exposed to pesticides in their home The study looks at 60 children, with less than 10% representing a control group, which consists of children that have low pesticide exposure, rather than no exposure at all.

Unethical targeting of low income families ?

According to the study, the 6 health clinics “primarily serve individuals with lower incomes” and the 3 hospitals report 51% of all births were to non-white mothers, with a 62% of all mothers having only received an elementary or secondary education.

The selection criteria for the study requires that a participant must spray or have pesticides sprayed inside their home routinely. “This study solicits people that may be easily persuaded to maintain or increase their pesticide use to receive monetary and other forms of compensation,” stated Maureen Dolan, Program Coordinator CCE. “It has been clearly designed to target lower income families and to endanger the health of their children, making it grossly unethical,” Dolan added.

Links

EPA Pesticide Study Endangers Children’s Health

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